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Watch an MPD Officer Make a Scene at Aldi

"How is this de-escalating? How the fuck is this de-escalating?"

10:34 AM CST on December 2, 2021

Screenshot from @farahleft on Instagram

An alleged argument between two Aldi customers got physical after a Minneapolis Police Officer intervened, video taken Wednesday evening shows.

The incident took place at the Aldi on E. Franklin Avenue in the Phillips neighborhood, the bystander who recorded the scene tells Racket. At around 6 p.m., two customers started arguing in line. The cop intervened by getting between the two and shoving the younger person, the bystander says, and the older gentleman got mad. That's where the video picks up, with the officer grabbing the older customer by the collar and shoving him into the wall.

An email to the Minneapolis Police Department's public information officer Thursday morning was not immediately returned.

"You're supposed to de-escalate!" the person recording can be heard yelling as the cop pushes the man to the ground. "How is this de-escalating? How the fuck is this de-escalating? ... It's two people having a conversation with each other, and you decided to escalate the situation by shoving him."

"Did he pay for his stuff?" the officer asks later in the nearly five-minute video.

"Yes!" shouts the man who was grabbed by the cop.

The video follows the men outside, where another officer is waiting. "I didn't put your hands on you, you shouldn't have put your hands on me," the visibly worked-up Aldi customer says. After the officer accuses them of fighting, the man clarifies: "We wasn't fighting, we was talking."

As the officer proceeds to empty the man's pockets and handcuffs the man, the bystander recording the incident agrees: "No pushing happened until you pushed them."

Racket will update this post when more information becomes available.

Update: MPD decided to return the Star Tribune's request for comment, and revealed... very little. The Strib report does include the arrestee's name (Troy Lee Billups), age (64), and short-term fate (a night in jail), though his lawyer declined further comment. The off-duty, fully uniformed cop (Christopher Lange) has been investigated for misconduct five times since 2019, the Strib notes, though he's never received disciplinary action.

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